Post South Korean Travels - Where to go?
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Jan 13, 2013 12:01 PM Last Post By: cornmuffin
Dec 8, 2012 10:22 AM
Post South Korean Travels - Where to go?My wife and I will be in South Korea in June or July of next year. Once we're done in South Korea, we'll likely have 10-14 days to travel to another country in the region. We're hoping to not buy plane tickets to said destination until we're actually in South Korea, in hopes that doing so will be cheaper than buying a multi-city ticket through one of the big travel sites like Expedia or Kayak. We'll probably have about a grand or so to spend, and are not averse to hostels and other money savers. Liking quality over quantity, we were thinking about focusing on one other country in order to have a more thorough experience.
Can anyone recommend which other country we should visit based on all of these factors? Any help would be highly appreciated!!
Dec 8, 2012 9:46 PM
1Don't be so sure that you'll find cheap regional plane tickets, especially one way, intra-Asia on short notice. Usually the cheaper international fares must be obtained well in advance of travel. But there are venues for purchasing other than the big international sites like Expedia, that might be better. Hold that thought for now and look at possible destinations. I agree that you'll probably have the best experience if you stick to one other country. It will also be cheaper if you minimize the number of flights you have to take.
For that time period and budget, your best bet is China. You'll need to get a visa beforehand, though, as it's difficult to do in Korea for a non-resident foreigner (need to go through an agent), and I expect that won't change. You can actually get from Korea to China quite easily by ferry, which may be cheaper than a one-way plane fare. If you focus on Beijng and north/central China, you can make that grand or so work out without too much stress. And there's a lot of variety.
Japan is possible (also ferry-able as well as flight), but is very expensive so your budget for two weeks may be on the light side. Taiwan, should be able to get reasonable flights but 10-14 days seems a bit much.
Another possibility is somewhere in SE Asia like Cambodia. It's a very popular destination with Koreans now, so there probably are cheap tourist-oriented flights you could tap into. It would be rainy season there, but I've never found that much of a deterrent. Completely different feel from Northeast Asia, very cheap, and has a bunch of interesting things to see including of course, the magnificent remains of Angkor at Siem Reap.
Air Asia has cheap flights from Seoul to Kuala Lumpur if you're interested in Malaysia (and Singapore, but be quick there as it's costly). You must plan and book ahead if you want the cheap fares. Eastar Jet (a Korean LCC) flies Seoul to Bangkok, Phuket, and a couple of places in East Malaysia. Thailand is a cheap place to spend time also, particularly if you avoid or minimize time at beaches.
I suggest that you research some more, and then decide on a country and craft a plan that fits the time. I strongly suggest that you not leave it to serendipity once you arrive in Korea, but make decisions and at least get any flights that will be required squared away before your departure, say by April or May. And of course you'll need to get back home from somewhere. If you don't yet have your international long haul tickets, you should consider an open-jaws into Korea and out of your second country, so you don't have to return to Korea.
Dec 9, 2012 1:39 AM
2June July is rainy season in Korea. Seoul has a whopping 400 mm or 16 inches of rain in July so plan activities accordingly. The odd typhoon may affect any plans to use boats to either Jeju or China so keep an eye on the weather. I would fly as it takes 25 hours on a boat from Incheon to China. I would suggest Beijing area for 2 weeks. Far enough north & inland, not to be affected by the summer typhoons that affect the east coast region of China every July August September. If 2 weeks in Beijing seems too much then look at a week in Mongolia as well as a week in Beijing. You need visas for both China & Mongolia btw. I've used Xanadu Travel to book flights to Australia, Philippines & Thailand when I lived in Korea. Highly recommended and you can do a bank transfer within Korea. If you're lucky Korean bank staff will show you how or may even do it for you! You transfer the cost of the airfare from your card *(cirrus / maestro) to the Xanadu bank KEB (Korea Exchange Bank) account using the atm. Saved me 2 hours trekking into Seoul & back, each way, and you can printout out the email e-ticket if you have a gmail / email account.
Dec 12, 2012 5:13 PM
3Thank you both very much for your detailed responses. All of these sound like good possibilities. I've been looking at Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam as possibilities, but China is certainly possible as well. I'm starting to realize that it will be a rainy trip almost regardless of where we go, but there's not a ton we can do about it. I guess that's why I have a raincoat.
I appreciate your help!!
Dec 14, 2012 10:07 PM
Jan 13, 2013 12:01 PM
5Hi Dave- my spouse and I are planning a similar trip, same places, same time, so we're curious what you came up with. We are visiting our son who's teaching in South Korea, and we can either visit him on the front, middle or end of the trip, but either way, we're trying to come up with flights, and itineraries for a 3 week trip. What did you decide? Thanks.
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